Monday, November 21, 2011

Rough Guide to Ruffs - part 2

Continuing my enthralling little adventure in making uncomfortable neckwear for dolls.
Now read on . . .


Refer to the photos as you work.

Step 1
Prepare the fabric. It needs to be stiffened to hold its sets properly, and also to help avoid fraying.

Make up a solution of 1 part PVA glue to 20 parts water.
Soak the fabric in this, then squeeze to remove excess glue.
Place on a flat clean non-porous surface (glass, kitchen bench, etc), and stretch it out so the weave lies straight in both directions. Smooth and stretch the fabric as flat and straight as possible. Let it dry.

Step 2
The ruff is cut on the bias to prevent fraying.
Be sure that at all times you take care not to stretch the bias fabric or your ruff will be mis-shapen.

Your ruff will take a length of fabric about 55cm long, but cut as long a piece as possible to make sure you will have enough to play with.
Place a ruler across the fabric at an angle of 45 degrees.
Make a fold in the fabric along the ruler, then replace the ruler on top this fold and press down hard to fix the fold in place. Don't rub your fingers along the fabric fold as this will stretch it.
This fold line will be the neck edge of the ruff.

Mark a pencil line 5mm from the fold. Open the fabric out and cut just inside this line so the pencil mark is cut away.
Cutting the first line

Mark another pencil line 14mm away from the other side of the fold. Do not cut it yet.

Step 3
Marking the sewing holes.
Prepare the graph paper by cutting it along one of the longest lines.

Pattern for punched holes, on a 2mm grid

The first row of holes (for the neck gathering thread) is punched at 4mm intervals, 2mm away from the folded edge. The second row of holes (for the beading thread) is punched at 4mm intervals to match the gathering thread, and at 8mm from the folded edge (6mm from the first row of holes). See photo.
Note: you could use pencil to mark the dots straight onto the fabric, but I found that it showed through the fabric, and there is a risk of it smudging with handling.

Punching the holes

Fold the paper towel several times to form a pad for making holes with the awl or needle. Place this on top of a bread board or cutting mat, as the holes will mark the working surface.
Place the folded fabric on top of this, then the graph paper, matching the edge to the fold.
Punch marker holes through all thicknesses all the way along the fabric, using the fine awl or large sharp needle.

Step 4

Remember to handle gently, being careful not stretch the fabric.

Threading the ruff - sample shown with coloured thread and beads for clarity

Thread the beading needle with a length of sewing thread 15cm longer than the length of the fabric. Make the knot about 10cm from the end (this end will be used to tie the ruff). Working from right to left, the knot should start at the back of the strip.
Starting about 15mm from the end of the strip, thread the beads as shown in the photo. Work until you have threaded 62 beads, ending with the thread exiting underneath.

Do not pull the thread tight yet - leave it flat in the fabric.
Sew a line of gathering stitches along the holes on the folded edge, taking in both layers, according to the diagram, until it is the same length as the beading thread.

Now cut the fabric 1mm inside the second pencil line, making the threaded strip 13mm wide.

Gently pull up and tighten both threads, taking care that the ruff folds are neat. The neck edge will pull up shorter than the beaded line.

End of part 2!

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